The best tenant screening services allow landlords and property managers to conduct accurate credit history reports, criminal background checks, employment and income verification, and eviction history at reasonable costs. These services protect your investments and help you search for qualified tenants while saving time, money, and energy. Landlords may charge tenants the application and online tenant background check fees to offset costs, depending on your state laws.
We reviewed multiple platforms to arrive at the top six best tenant screening services based on screening features, pricing, ease of use, customer support, and online reviews:
- Best for comprehensive tenant screening at affordable rates: Buildium
- Best for free customizable reports and automated reference checks: Avail
- Best for mobile tenant screening: RentRedi
- Best for auto-tenant screening feature and shareable reports: Apartments.com
- Best for free screening services and rental advertising: TurboTenant
- Best for flexible a la carte and individual tenant reports: LeaseRunner
Best Tenant Screening Services at a Glance
Tenant Screening Starting Price
$15 per screening
Phone, email, and live chat
Free; paid plan starts at $7 per unit, per month
Phone, email, and live chat
$9 per month
(based on annual subscription)
Phone, email, and live chat
$29 per application
Phone and email
$55 per application
Email and live chat
Depends on the screening report needed; ranges from $10 to $22 per applicant
Phone and email
Online tenant screening enables you to carefully filter applicants and find the best tenants faster through comprehensive credit history, eviction history, and criminal background reports. Take our quiz below to find the best tenant screening service for your rental business.
Which tenant screening service is right for you?
Buildium: Best for Comprehensive Tenant Screening at Affordable Rates
Our Expert Opinion on Buildium
Buildium is our overall best tenant screening services for its comprehensive software features, affordability, and all-in-one property management solution. Powered by TransUnion, a U.S. credit reporting agency, landlords can access full credit, criminal, and eviction data to help them avoid tenant scams. Buildium will automatically send tenants a reminder to complete the rental application at the three-day mark and the seven-day mark after the process begins.
In addition, landlords have two screening options: basic and enhanced. The enhanced option allows for customized thresholds on recommendations, requires minimal applicant involvement, and delivers faster results. However, Buildium could improve by providing a terrorist alert feature for a more extensive tenant screening report.
- Tenant screening criteria: This lets you set minimum credit score and other qualifying questions in the application form, like pets, move-in dates, and deposits, to quickly filter qualified from unqualified applicants and stay aligned with landlord-tenant laws.
- Property management: Includes several property management functions, such as accounting, maintenance, tasks, violations, resident and board member communications, and online portals.
- Marketing website: A do-it-yourself, free, fully integrated website for property managers, hosted by Buildium.
- E-signatures: You can manage all leasing processes online and get your documents signed digitally.
- Performance and business analytics: Receive insights into your residents’ activities through the resident center and a detailed analysis of your business performance using key leasing metrics.
Customers rated Buildium 4.5 out of 5 because of its ease of use, robust platform, and multiple tools available for property management like online rent payment function and maintenance request tracking. One user also liked that she could get a ledger for court filings and tenant evictions.
In less positive Buildium reviews, users commented that Buildium’s customer support is unsatisfactory. One user also remarked that he had experienced delays in page loading and system response, which slowed down his work. Additionally, Buildium doesn’t have a free plan or terrorist report feature. If you’re managing a few properties and want to try a free property management service, we recommend Avail.
To learn how our experts feel about this tenant screen service, check out our Buildium review.
Avail: Best for Free Customizable Reports & Automated Reference Checks
Our Expert Opinion on Avail
If you’re looking for free property management software with customizable renter reports, we recommend Avail. It provides online tenant screening services, focusing on background and credit checks for landlords—whether you need a TransUnion report, national criminal history, prior eviction data, or a complete tenant background check. Landlords could also customize application settings and screening questions to ensure tenants qualify for all their requirements.
Another unique feature of Avail is its automated reference checks. Once prospects complete the online renter application form, Avail automatically contacts their previous landlords to see whether they paid their rent on time and took care of the rental property. The platform also enables landlords to conduct income verification and documentation to ensure prospects can pay the rent on time. But, it can be enhanced by offering a mobile app and a renter risk score feature.
- Rental listings: Create one rental listing to post across multiple sites, such as Realtor.com and Trulia, with one click.
- Digital leases: Access lawyer-reviewed, state-specific lease agreement templates, including all the necessary disclosures, attachments, and clauses.
- Online rent collection: Allow tenants to pay rent online, schedule upcoming payments, issue late fees, track rental income, and get paid faster with Avail’s FastPay.
- Maintenance tracking: Track repairs with in-app messaging, photos, and automatic maintenance records.
- Rent price analysis: Complete rental market trends and rent comps so you can set competitive rent prices.
Avail’s subscribers praise the platform for its ease of use, affordable pricing, and extensive features, giving it a 4.6 out of 5-star review. One user is happy as he can easily track and maintain income processing and for the late fee notifications or reminders feature.
While most reviews are positive, some users experienced technical issues like glitching and screen lagging. Avail doesn’t currently have an app, which could be inconvenient for landlords who are always on the go. If you’re looking for a property management app with a mobile tenant screening feature, check out RentRedi or Buildium.
Read how our experts feel about this property management platform in our Avail review.
RentRedi: Best for Mobile Tenant Screening
Our Expert Opinion on RentRedi
RentRedi is perfect for landlords who want the convenience of mobile technology when screening applicants. Landlords can send requests, view screening reports, and accept applications directly on the mobile app—no need for a web browser. RentRedi provides full credit, criminal, and eviction reports as a tenant screening service. It also has an auto-tenant screening feature, which allows landlords to automatically receive a completed tenant screening report once a prospect applies.
To run a credit financial background check for renters, RentRedi has partnered with TransUnion and uses ResidentScore, which predicts rental eviction risk 15% better than traditional credit scores. It also checks 27 million eviction records and reviews over 370 million records from state and national databases to ensure you get a thorough tenant report. RentRedi may improve by providing a free trial and judgment or liens report.
- Rent collection: Tenants can send money via credit card, ACH, cash, and banking. Landlords receive payments within three to four business days and can export payments to spreadsheets or QuickBooks.
- Prequalifications and applications: Set prequalification questions to immediately determine whether an applicant qualifies or not before scheduling a tour.
- Maintenance requests and coordination: Outsource managing maintenance requests and get automatic maintenance status updates sent to the tenant.
- Listings and marketing: Free Realtor and Doorsteps listing syndications using the RentRedi dashboard; add virtual tour options to property listings and have a free professionally designed marketing page to share on your websites and other marketing sites.
Users found RentRedi’s mobile app very convenient and user-friendly, especially the ability to properly screen applicants, collect rents, notify tenants, and respond to maintenance requests directly on their mobile phones. A user commented that RentRedi is excellent for sharing and saving documents with tenants. Because of these reasons, RentRedi received a 4.7 out of 5-star rating.
While most users found RentRedi helpful and convenient, one user experienced an issue with the autopay and system bugs. Aside from these, RentRedi doesn’t offer an a la carte feature, which users believe is not cost-efficient since subscribers pay a flat monthly or annual fee. Some also experienced technical and update issues with the mobile app. If you’re budget-conscious and prefer to purchase a la carte features instead, check out LeaseRunner.
Apartments.com: Best for Auto-tenant Screening Feature & Shareable Reports
Our Expert Opinion on Apartments.com
If you need fast access to tenant screening reports, we recommend using Apartments.com. Its auto-tenant screening feature provides detailed renter information, including income-to-rent ratio, employment status, household info, and rental history. Another unique element of Apartments.com is that it allows an applicant’s screening report to be shared with other participating rentals. The tenant’s application can be used for up to 10 different listings and is valid for 30 days.
Apartments.com is also an all-in-one property management tool that makes the rental process paperless and more convenient for landlords and renters. Aside from screening tenants, Apartments.com allows you to list your property, receive applications, generate a lease, collect payments, manage residents, organize expenses, and track maintenance from anywhere with a reliable internet connection. However, it may be enhanced by providing live chat support and a terrorist alert report.
- Property listings and virtual tours: List your properties on Apartment.com and conduct property tours online and from anywhere.
- Online lease agreements: Create state-compliant online lease agreements customized to your locale; both you and the tenants can sign the lease documents with an e-signature and access documents online.
- Resident management: Keep and access all of your tenants’ relevant information securely in one centralized location; share documents with tenants online.
- Expense tracking: Organize, track, and export your rental property expenses from anywhere to make tax preparation easier.
- Maintenance requests: Receive and manage maintenance requests directly from tenants on your online dashboard.
Apartments.com obtained a 4.2 out of 5 customer review rating for its user-friendly interface, extensive exposure online, and great customer service. A property manager remarked that Apartments.com has access to a wide range of diverse renters. The company is also number one on Google search, and its platform is easy to use and compatible with most property management software.
Some landlords complained of expensive premium rental advertising and its difficulty to update the information if the property has the data coming from a feed. Furthermore, property managers are currently unable to utilize the mobile app, which means they have to log in to their accounts through a web browser to update and maintain listings. If you’re looking for a free tenant screening service with a mobile app, check out RentRedi and TurboTenant.
TurboTenant: Best for Free Screening Services & Rental Advertising
Our Expert Opinion on TurboTenant
For property managers looking for free property management software, TurboTenant gives you a complete snapshot of a prospective tenant’s financial stability and credibility through a quick and easy tenant screening process at no cost to you. In partnership with TransUnion, landlords can run a comprehensive credit report that includes debt payment history, new loans, history of bankruptcies, and even late payments in their rental history.
TurboTenant also helps you gain insights into potential tenants’ previous rentals and landlords and verify their income and employment. The software searches millions of criminal records across the country, so you know if an applicant might pose any threat to your business and other tenants. Furthermore, landlords will get a detailed report of past evictions of a would-be renter. But, it could improve its services by providing phone customer support and third-party integrations.
- Rental advertising: Advertise properties for free on multiple rental listing websites like Realtor.com, ApartmentList, Rent.com, and Craigslist; create professional listing pages for your properties.
- Lease agreements: Customize a state-specific online lease agreement crafted by local lawyers and expert landlords.
- Rent payments: Securely collect rent online, connect your bank account, and set up automatic monthly charges and late fees.
- Expense tracking: Organize and monitor your expenses in purpose-built software and export them as a CSV file when filing taxes.
TurboTenant’s users love the platform because of its ease of use and free features with upgrade options. Another user loved its all-in-one property management solution that enables them to advertise their properties across multiple sites, communicate with potential tenants, pre-screen and screen applicants, and accept applications.
On the other hand, some users complained about unresponsive customer support and issues with their accounts. One user wished for the ability to separate applications that don’t need the screening, so landlords can check applications first and see if the tenant is a good fit without asking them to pay for screening. Because of these mixed reviews, TurboTenant received a 3.7 out of 5-star review. For more robust and comprehensive options with free plans, check out Avail, Apartments.com, or LeaseRunner.
Read how our experts feel about this top tenant screening company in our TurboTenant review.
LeaseRunner: Best for Flexible a la Carte & Individual Tenant Reports
Our Expert Opinion on LeaseRunner
For independent landlords managing a few rental properties, LeaseRunner is a practical choice because of its flexible pricing and a la carte tenant screening menu. LeaseRunner has no subscription and monthly fees. This allows you to mix and match tenant screening reports based on your preference, local rental market, and ideal renter’s profile, and pay only for what you need.
LeaseRunner has extensive screening services, including tenant criminal background, credit record, financial profile, and eviction history reports. It has advanced applicant record matching and compares over 36 million eviction records, 300 million credit records, and 500 million criminal records, as well as credit, court, government, and bank data. LeaseRunner can improve by offering third-party integrations and a mobile app.
- Applicant authorization: Applicants can authorize the release of their credit, financial, eviction, and criminal records from their email and don’t need to create a LeaseRunner account or go to the website.
- Rental ads: Post rental listings to multiple sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Craigslist and generate application buttons and links.
- Digital rental application: Email the application link to tenants so they can apply online or via smartphone.
- Digital lease with e-signature: Compile multiple documents and email them for e-signature.
- Online rent payment: Collect rent and fees by bank debit through the Tenant Payment Center or autopay.
Landlords who use LeaseRunner like the platform for its user-friendly interface and robust services, giving it a 4.6 out of 5-star review. One landlord even commented that LeaseRunner makes renting manageable. Another praised the platform because it made listing, creating, and signing leases easy.
While customers find the platform useful, one customer commented on LeaseRunner’s “buggy” software. Further, LeaseRunner does not offer packages, and the total cost of its complete tenant screening report can be more expensive than other tenant screening services. You can check Avail’s monthly free and affordable subscription plans if you’re an independent landlord with few properties.
How We Evaluated the Top Tenant Screening Companies
To determine the best tenant screening services, we evaluated platforms based on features related to comprehensive and reliable background checks and identity verification. The pricing structures were also compared so property managers and landlords know which service is right for their budget. We also reviewed each platform’s ease of use and available customer support, which are essential to successfully screen tenants in the most efficient way possible.
Based on our evaluation, Buildium is the best tenant background check company that provides comprehensive tenant screening reports at more affordable rates than others. Landlords can efficiently run a renter’s check, including credit history, criminal background, and eviction report, from anywhere with an internet connection. Buildium also provides an all-in-one property management solution with features like online rental listings and marketing, real estate accounting, rent collection, and maintenance requests.
Below are the criteria we used to determine the top tenant screening companies for landlords and property managers.
25% of Overall Score
Based on various tenant screening features offered that help landlords and property managers evaluate prospects and obtain comprehensive and reliable credit, criminal, and eviction history reports.
20% of Overall Score
Pricing is based on the cost structure, a la carte options, and availability of online tenant screening services for landlords and tenants.
20% of Overall Score
This includes various property management features like listing syndication, rental advertising, rental property accounting, online payment collection, and maintenance requests.
10% of Overall Score
Evaluated based on platform usability. This was analyzed in terms of the expertise needed to set up an account, navigate the provider interface, run comprehensive tenant screenings, and view reports.
10% of Overall Score
Based on customer feedback for each platform, the functionalities that are most useful for property managers, and areas that need further improvement.
10% of Overall Score
Expertise in the field and firsthand experience with the providers allow us to evaluate the standout features, value for the money, and ease of use for rent payment service software.
5% of Overall Score
We looked into the convenience and attainability of customer service for technical support, onboarding, and training.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Depending on the information you need in the report or whether you prefer a basic or premium plan, tenant screening services can cost anywhere from $0 to $50. It usually costs more—up to $100—for all-inclusive packages. But if you’re on a tight budget, there are free tenant screening services, like Avail, you can use.
A criminal background check, tenant background check, a credit report, eviction history, employment verification, residence history, and any bankruptcies, judgments, and liens are all included in tenant screening reports. It may also include previous landlord references, employer references, and proof of income.
Yes, tenant screening is legal. However, various states may have specific laws about costs, limitations, and what constitutes discrimination, so it’s important to carefully check and verify your local and state legislation.